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My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge

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My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2019, 18:24
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My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge, not in terms of repression or law, but in terms of power. But the word power is apt to lead to misunderstandings about the nature, form, and unity of power. By power, I do not mean a group of institutions and mechanisms that ensure the subservience of the citizenry. I do not mean, either, a mode of subjugation that, in contrast to violence, has the form of the rule. Finally, I do not have in mind a general system of domination exerted by one group over another, a system whose effects, through successive derivations, pervade the entire social body. The sovereignty of the state, the form of law, or the overall unity of a domination are only the terminal forms power takes.

It seems to me that power must be understood as the multiplicity of force relations that are immanent in the social sphere; as the process that, through ceaseless struggle and confrontation, transforms, strengthens, or reverses them; as the support that these force relations find in one another, or on the contrary, the disjunctions and contradictions that isolate them from one another; and lastly, as the strategies in which they take effect, whose general design or institutional crystallization is embodied in the state apparatus, in the formulation of the law, in the various social hegemonies.

Thus, the viewpoint that permits one to understand the exercise of power, even in its more “peripheral” effects, and that also makes it possible to use its mechanisms as a structural framework for analyzing the social order, must not be sought in a unique source of sovereignty from which secondary and descendent forms of power emanate but in the moving substrate of force relations that, by virtue of their inequality, constantly engender local and unstable states of power. If power seems omnipresent, it is not because it has the privilege of consolidating everything under its invincible unity, but because it is produced from one moment to the next, at every point, or rather in every relation from one point to another.

Power is everywhere, not because it embraces everything, but because it comes from everywhere. And if power at times seems to be permanent, repetitious, inert, and self-reproducing, it is simply because the overall effect that emerges from all these mobilities is a concatenation that rests on each of them and seeks in turn to arrest their movement. One needs to be nominalistc, no doubt: power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategic situation in a particular society.
1. The author’s primary purpose in defining power is to
(A) counteract self-serving and confusing uses of the term
(B) establish a compromise among those who have defined the term in different ways
(C) increase comprehension of the term by providing concrete examples
(D) demonstrate how the meaning of the term has evolved
(E) avoid possible misinterpretations resulting from the more common uses of the term


2. According to the passage, which of the following best describes the relationship between law and power?
(A) Law is the protector of power.
(B) Law is the source of power.
(C) Law sets bounds to power.
(D) Law is a product of power.
(E) Law is a stabilizer of power.


3. Which of the following methods is NOT used extensively by the author in describing his own conception of power?
(A) Restatement of central ideas
(B) Provision of concrete examples
(C) Analysis and classification
(D) Comparison and contrast
(E) Statement of cause and effect


4. With which of the following statement would the author be most likely to agree?
(A) Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely.
(B) The highest proof of virtue is to possess boundless power without abusing it.
(C) To love knowledge is to love power.
(D) It is from the people and their deeds that power springs.
(E) The health of the people as a state is the foundation on which all their power depends.


5. The author’s attitude toward the various kinds of compulsion employed by social institutions is best described as
(A) concerned and sympathetic
(B) scientific and detached
(C) suspicious and cautious
(D) reproachful and disturbed
(E) meditative and wistful


6. According to the passage, states of power are transient because of the
(A) differing natures and directions of the forces that create them
(B) rigid structural framework in which they operate
(C) unique source from which they emanate
(D) pervasive nature and complexity of the mechanisms by which they operate
(E) concatenation that seeks to arrest their movement


7. It can be inferred from the passage that the author believes the conflict among social forces to be
(A) essentially the same from one society to another even though its outward manifestation may seem different
(B) usually the result of misunderstandings that impede social progress
(C) an inevitable feature of the social order of any state
(D) wrongly blamed for disrupting the stability of society
(E) best moderated in states that possess a strong central government

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Re: My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Mar 2019, 11:10
Could someone highlight support from the passage for all answers?
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Re: My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2019, 20:52
1. The author’s primary purpose in defining power is to

The whole passage is about 'Power' and how it is understood by many, but "how it actually should be understood" as per the author of the passage.

Quote:
(A) counteract self-serving and confusing uses of the term

No this is not what the author intends to define.

Quote:
(B) establish a compromise among those who have defined the term in different ways

He is nowhere trying to establish a compromise. Remember he is trying to wipe out various meanings given to the term 'Power' and trying to give a clear picture of what actually power is.

Quote:
(C) increase comprehension of the term by providing concrete examples

He has not provided any example. So this is out of context.

Quote:
(D) demonstrate how the meaning of the term has evolved

There are no series of events that took place when defining 'Power'. So this is certainly a NO NO.

Quote:
(E) avoid possible misinterpretations resulting from the more common uses of the term

Yes. This option echoes our thoughts.

IMO E.
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Re: My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2019, 20:56
Quote:
2. According to the passage, which of the following best describes the relationship between law and power?
(A) Law is the protector of power.
(B) Law is the source of power.
(C) Law sets bounds to power.
(D) Law is a product of power.
(E) Law is a stabilizer of power.


Quote:
It seems to me that power must be understood as the multiplicity of force relations that are immanent in the social sphere; as the process that, through ceaseless struggle and confrontation, transforms, strengthens, or reverses them; as the support that these force relations find in one another, or on the contrary, the disjunctions and contradictions that isolate them from one another; and lastly, as the strategies in which they take effect, whose general design or institutional crystallization is embodied in the state apparatus, in the formulation of the law, in the various social hegemonies.


Read the above paragraph.

From this we can infer that Law is a product of power.

Therefor D.
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Re: My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2019, 20:58
Quote:
3. Which of the following methods is NOT used extensively by the author in describing his own conception of power?
(A) Restatement of central ideas
(B) Provision of concrete examples
(C) Analysis and classification
(D) Comparison and contrast
(E) Statement of cause and effect



If you have read closely, you will find that no exaples have been presented by author while defining 'Power'.

Therefore it is a straight B.

IMO B
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My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2019, 21:04
In my (totally subjective) opinion, this is a terrible, terrible passage, and very unlike what you might see on the GMAT. It's filled with a lot of mumbo-jumbo and is unusually in the first-person. I don't want to insult whomever wrote it (too late now, I guess!), but this isn't a good passage to study IMO for the GMAT, as an academic abstractly philosophizing in the first-person isn't really what the GMAT's passages tend to be like or focus on.

Also, the GMAT is not going to ask you to understand words such as "nominalistic", "disjunctions," "substrate," and "concatenation." And especially not all from one passage. Not that there isn't the occasional challenging vocab word on the exam, but the GMAT is not a vocabulary test, and the RC isn't designed only for people with expansive vocabularies. It's like whomever wrote this feels like harder passages = pulling out a thesaurus. :lol:

Another reason I think this is a poor passage is Question #1, the Main Idea problem. Let's look at the structure of this passage:

Function of Paragraph #1 - to state objective and define power
Function of Paragraph #2 - to continue to wax on about power
Function of Paragraph #3 - to describe how best to understand power (this paragraph is just...ugh)
Function of Paragraph #4 - to sum up what power is

It's clear this is an Informational passage about what power is or isn't. There's a slight tone of opinion, especially since it is all first-person, but the author doesn't really give any sentences that have an extremely strong POV. I would say the only one with some real "charge" is the first sentence of paragraph 3.

The first sentence of the passage says it all: "my objective is to analyze." This is a dry, dull passage about analyzing "power."

Let's look at the question:

The author’s primary purpose in defining power is to

REPHRASE: Why is he defining power?

Well, how the heck should we know "why" he's doing it? He says he's doing it to "analyze certain forms of knowledge," so I guess we will believe him.

PREDICTION: To analyze certain forms of knowledge.

On to the answer choices:

(A) counteract self-serving and confusing uses of the term ("counteract" is way too Persuasive and doesn't match the Informational tone)
(B) establish a compromise among those who have defined the term in different ways (nothing remotely like a "compromise" is discussed)
(C) increase comprehension of the term by providing concrete examples (nothing to support he's interested in increasing general comprehension.)
(D) demonstrate how the meaning of the term has evolved ("evolve" implies change over time; but he never discusses "power" as an evolving entity.)
(E) avoid possible misinterpretations resulting from the more common uses of the term (at no point does he indicate he wants to "avoid possible misinterpretations").

The author says the word can lead to "misunderstandings" but this is one sentence in the first paragraph. A main idea on the GMAT is something that encompasses ALL the paragraphs. ALL the paragraphs here are not being driven by the desire to "avoid misunderstandings" --- they simply are musing on what power is. Where are the specific misinterpretations? Or the consequences of "if you interpret power in X way, it is bad because...." If the author truly wanted to avoid misinterpretations, then this idea needed to be present in at least 3-4 other places in the passage.

IMO -- the stated answer of (E) does not do what correct Main Idea answers for an actual GMAT passage do -- match the Tone and encapsulate the underlying driving structure of the ENTIRE passage. The Main Idea has to include all the paragraphs somehow. It can't be based on 1-2 sentences only.

I would REALLY caution students against studying RC passages such as this one. There are plenty of official passages and passages from high-quality sources such as Veritas, Magoosh, Manhattan, etc. When you look at weaker material, there's a lot less to learn from it.
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Re: My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2019, 22:35
can some one explain Q 7 ,?
How can we infer choice C from the passage. How is choice B incorrect.
Also it took me 15 mins and still got 2 wrong. I didn't quite understand this passage very well. How can I improve on my timings and accuracy.
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Re: My objective is to analyze certain forms of knowledge   [#permalink] 04 Mar 2019, 22:35
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